St. Johns River Fisher-Hunter-Gatherers: Florida’s Connection to Cahokia
No area along the far edges of the Mississippian world is as remote from Cahokia as northeastern Florida. But objects of possible Cahokian derivation, though limited in number, made their way to this distant locale The most compelling material evidence in Florida for any kind of connection to Cahokia comes from the Mill Cove Complex and Mt. Royal along the St. Johns River of the northern peninsula. Situated about 100 km from one another, these two fisher-hunter-gatherer communities were recipients of copper and stone artifacts that likely originated in the American Bottom, some 1200 km away. The overall geographical distribution of Cahokian styles and artifacts enmeshed varied internal and external processes and flows that encompassed exploration, migration, diaspora, trade, and politics. While no evidence exists for a Cahokian outpost or diaspora as far south as Florida, the presence of American Bottom artifacts along the St. Johns River could have involved more than the stock answer of simple down-the-line-exchange. This essay explores issues of long-distance travel, direct contact, knowledge seeking, object biographies, and diplomacy among peoples from these geographically disparate locales.
Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Ashley, K., Thunen, R.L. St. Johns River Fisher-Hunter-Gatherers: Florida’s Connection to Cahokia. J Archaeol Method Theory 27, 7–27 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10816-019-09439-5